Following a very turbulent start with weather and other scheduling interruptions, Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, said that schools are settled and educators geared as they move full force into the activities for 2017-2018. He underscored a number of opportunities that are available and encouraged teachers to position themselves to capitalize on them.
On the heels of the celebration of World Teacher’s Day which was observed on Thursday, October 05 with a dinner for public school teachers as a show of solidarity and support, the Minister has stated that individual teachers must now make use of the opportunities that are being provided to assist them in upgrading their skills and qualifications towards a better classroom experience.
Minister Richards highlighted the intentions of the ministry in this regard at the start of the Summer Workshops for Teachers in August this year. He revealed a plan of action including “the establishment of a programme of continuous professional development leading to the certification and licensing of teachers.” At its most basic level this included one year of In-Service Training for new teachers which got underway on October 3rd.
He also alluded to the implementation of the CDB sponsored TVET programme that was officially launched in July 2016. “This initiative aims to further solidify the commitment to the development and expansion of Technical, Vocational Education and Training in the federation,” the Minister stated, explaining that this would also involve the amalgamation of all current post-secondary institutions (that is Project Strong, National Skills Training Programme, and the A.V.E.C) into one umbrella organization- the National Training Institute.”
According to the Education official, as the Ministry of Education explores other avenues whereby teachers can secure the necessary qualifications, the ministry is now in discussion with MidWestern State University in Texas to provide an online degree course for teachers where they undertake training which will include a few summers on the campus.
The Ministry of Education has begun the implementation of the 2017-2021 Education Sector Plan. This provides the blue print by which this transformation will continue.
Under the theme: Education for All: Embracing Change, Securing the Future, the plan provides a strategic road-map to improve the provision and administration of education in our Federation.